Valuable Assets: Texas Gun Trusts
The National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates the ownership and disposition of Title II firearms (some people refer to these as “Class 3” firearms). Such weapons include (pre-1986) machine guns, silencers (suppressors), short-barreled shotguns, short-barreled riffles, and other “destructive devices.”
In order to possess one of these weapons, an owner must complete a form required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, submit their fingerprints to the FBI, and obtain permission from the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of their jurisdiction (“CLEO”).
When a person owning such a firearm dies, the law places burdensome restrictions on the disposition of that weapon.
One way to legally avoid complications with gun ownership and transfer is through the use of a gun trust (also known as an NFA Trust). A Gun Trust is customarily a revocable Trust, which means it can be changed or ended at any time during the grantor’s (the person who started the Trust) lifetime. The Trust becomes the legal “owner” of the firearm, which can then be used and enjoyed by the beneficiaries of the Trust (which can include the original owner and other people).
Some would-be owners have found it difficult to obtain the required CLEO signature of their ATF forms. An NFA Gun Trust bypasses these requirements. If a Gun Trust is used to acquire weapons, no fingerprints, photographs or CLEO signatures are necessary.
Keep Government Out of Your Family Gun Transfers
A Gun Trust avoids the need to seek government permission to legally transfer a firearm upon the death of the original grantor/gun owner because the Trust is the owner of the weapon. Ownership does not actually change hands at the time of death; only beneficiaries change.
Like any Trust, a Gun Trust is a legal tool that should not be entered into lightly. Though some companies sell “form” Gun Trusts over the Internet, you should not rely on the legitimacy or effectiveness of such a Trust without the advice of a qualified attorney.
Make an appointment today to sit down with Dallas estate planning lawyer Christopher Parvin to see if a Texas Gun Trust is the right tool for you. Chris is dedicated to helping Texas families protect their assets and their rights. Contact Chris’s Dallas law office online or call (214) 974-8940 to schedule a consultation.